1225 State Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Hours: M-Th 5:30-10pm, F-Su 5:30-10:30pm
I never was a fan of sea urchin. I mean, I wasn’t against eating it, but it never really appealed to me enough for me to want to order it at restaurants. Visiting Santa Barbara for the first time a few months ago finally motivated me to take the time to appreciate some uni. Since Santa Barbara is known for sea urchin, I had to try some. After my first bite of uni nigiri, I was converted! Sweet, Salty, Creamy, Sea Butter. Arigato Sushi is a great place to not only enjoy fresh sea urchin, but also some tasty Japanese food as well. Even though they are constantly busy, Arigato Sushi doesn’t take reservations. Put your name and phone number on the list (they’ll call you when your table is ready) and take a stroll around downtown Santa Barbara. The last two times I went here, it took only about 15 minutes for two spots to open at the sushi bar. Sitting at the bar gives you an opportunity to chat with one of the many sushi chefs about what they recommend and allows you to freely order food at your own pace. It’s becoming a tradition to come here for dinner every time I visit Santa Barbara. Lucky for me, I have reasons to visit quite often.
Zuke Toro – truffle soy oil marinated bluefin tuna belly
Gold Shot – uni, quail egg yolk, ponzu
Spicy Tuna Roll
Miso Glazed Black Cod
Green Tea Creme Brulee
I wasn’t expecting to be blown away by every single dish, but to sum it up, there was nothing that we regretted ordering.
Although I wanted to keep food descriptions and opinions to a minimum in this post, I simply can’t go without throwing in an honorable mention to the Miso Glazed Black Cod. Not only was it flavorful, tender, and buttery, but it also fell apart with a slight touch of my chopsticks. I experienced one of those first-bite moments where your eyes widen as a reminder of how amazing food can be. Another must order dish would have to be the Gold Shot. I’ve decided that it’s what I will start off with every time I visit Arigato Sushi, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be back at least a few more times this year. See you again soon, Santa Barbara!